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Old 06-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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surely you jest,..i never speak in asterisks
Looks like I have to run through George Carlin's list and see what fits.......
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE




Okie From Muskogee was a live album in 1969 done no other place than in Muskogee, Oklahoma. It reached #1 on the Country Billboards in 1970. Merle picked Muskogee, Oklahoma of all places because of family ties to the town. This album being live is more special than any studio version he could have done because you get to hear the people of Muskogee reactions to the things he sang about. You get a much clearer vision of people beliefs and ways of living in this town of Muskogee and these people absolutely loved Merle for it. By far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to this town and they still talk about it to this day.

Mama Tried is the first song of the concert and most definitely gets things moving. This song is about a rebellious kid who was going to do what he was going to do and wouldn't let anyone tell him any different. He came from a good humble family that did everything right and tried to turn him in the right direction, especially Mama, but as he says in his song "I turned 21in prison doing life without parole, no one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried, Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied. That leaves only me to blame cause Mama tried"

No Hard Times is one that I really enjoy especially to sing along with. This song just makes you appreciate those ol boys who are poor as church mice, live off their land, and are just as happy as everybody else. Merle does a interesting vocal job in this one by adding some wild pitch changes.

Silver Wings is a very simple story line about Merle watching his woman fly away in an airplane. But its amazing how clear a picture he puts in your head and you can see the whole thing.

The next two tracks involve the mayor of Muskogee giving Merle a key to the city and so on. You can just hear in his voice the admiration and appreciation the mayor has for Merle.

Swingin Doors Many country bands have done a song of similar subject matter about hanging out at a bar for so long it has now become their home, but I think I like Merle's version the best. It is very catchy and has a great chorus that really makes you want to sing along, and what Ilike about it is that he never says the bar is his new home but he descibes everything in the bar that is now his. I just think it is a clever spin.

I'm A Lonesome Fugitive Another one of Merle's songs about prison and the life after.

Sing Me Back Home Probably one of Merle's best creations. A very emotional and helpless situation that tells of a man on death row that wants Merle to sing and a play a song that his mother used to sing for him so that the music can take him back to that moment in time.

Branded Man One of my favorites on this album. "No matter where I'm livin, I gotta tell them where I've been" is one of the best lyrics. He just can't get away from the "black mark" of prison no matter how hard he tries.

In the Arms of Love I don't have a lot to say about this one because I'm not real crazy about it. Probably the only weak song on the whole album though and Merle didn't even write it, Buck Owens did.

Workin Man Blues This song sums up so many lives of people around where I live its unbelievable. I would hate to think how many times my dad has played this song and sang along to every word, especially, "Hey, hey the workin man, workin man like me, ain't never been on welfare thats one place I won't be, cause I'll go back workin." Great guitar beat and rhythm on top of everything else. I think Crash Override reviewed this song wonderfully in his journal so you can go look at his.

Hobo Bill's Last Ride An interesting story that keeps you listening in this one. Merle slows her down a bit and reverts back to his old fashioned style that matches well with the old fashioned story.

Billy Overcame His Size Wow, two songs in a row about Bills. I just now noticed that. Anyway, a good message in this one. In fact they wrote it coming up to this concert in Muskogee. I feel that this song gives the message that no matter how big or small you are in size, its the things that you do that determine how big or small a person you are.

If I Had Left It Up To You Such a good one! And so sad, poor Merle. Reading the lyrics just does this no justice, mind you. This song is all in his voice.

You made plans to leave a thousand times I know
And a thousand times, I should have let you go
But each time I'll always beg you back somehow
If I'd left it up to you it'd all be over now

It'd all be over now cept the crying
I'd be used to spending all my nights alone
Wish I'd found the way to let you go somehow
If I'd left it up to you
it'd all be over now


White Line Fever Merle wrote this one for all the container drivers out there, and I bet this was certainly blaring on their radios in 1969 and 70 and if I was a truck driver (haha) I would still have it blaring. "The wrinkles in my forehead showthe miles I've put behind me. They continue to remind me how fast I'm growing old. Guess I'll die with this fever in my soul" You would think when Merle sings this song, he has been a truck driver for all his life it is so believable. And the song does make you wonder how those truck drivers do keep pushing on.

Okie From Muskogee It's worth listening to this song just to hear the rowdy Muskogee crown laugh and hoot and holler during the whole song. This song disapproves and makes fun of the hippie culture that was so big at that time and says they do everything the right way in Muskogee. Like this:

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don't take our trips on LSD
We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.

I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

We don't make a party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear;
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen.
Football's still the roughest thing on campus,
And the kids here still respect the college dean.

We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.


Not only did this song tell the other side of the story, but was an important mark in history in the eventful year of '69.

Last edited by Flower Child; 07-20-2009 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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^ Cool Merle review, I really enjoyed it. I don't think I've ever heard this live album, but all the live material I have seen/heard I have really liked.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sing Me Back Home. x3
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Merle Haggard is what you're talking about when you say country music.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Listening to Same Train, Different Time right now and it's quite good. Not sure if it's his best work or anything, but it doesn't make me want to kill myself like most Country does in this style.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Merle Haggard has always been my favorite country singer. I think he is one of those artist that has the perfect voice. Although I don't much care for today's modern country, I have always been a fan of the more Traditional country artist.

Some of my favorite singles are:

My Favorite Memory
Someday When Things Are Good
Natural High

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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What's amazing is Merle Haggard is 76 years old a still making good albums. His voice is in fantastic shape and still plenty of vitality in his performances. Bob Dylan is five years younger than Merle Haggard and sings like he's dying of tuberculosis.
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